NB 06: From a simple lysosomotropic aSMase inhibitor to tools for elucidating the role of lysosomes in signaling apoptosis and LPS-induced inflammation
Ceramide generation is involved in signal transduction of cellular stress response, in particular during stress-induced apoptosis in response to stimuli such as minimally modified Low-density lipoproteins, TNFalpha and exogenous C6-ceramide. In this paper we describe 48 diverse synthetic products and evaluate their lysosomotropic and acid sphingomyelinase inhibiting activities in macrophages. A stimuli-induced increase of C16-ceramide in macrophages can be almost completely suppressed by representative compound NB 06 providing an effective protection of macrophages against apoptosis. Compounds like NB 06 thus offer highly interesting fields of application besides prevention of apoptosis of macrophages in atherosclerotic plaques in vessel walls. Most importantly, they can be used for blocking pH-dependent lysosomal processes and enzymes in general as well as for analyzing lysosomal dependent cellular signaling. Modulation of gene expression of several prominent inflammatory messengers IL1B, IL6, IL23A, CCL4 and CCL20 further indicate potentially beneficial effects in the field of (systemic) infections involving bacterial endotoxins like LPS or infections with influenza A virus.